Name Your Product or Business: Tools and Strategies

Naming. It doesn’t matter what you are naming, whether your product, business, website or even your child. (This is my current project.) Your choice is crucial. Below are various tools, strategies, and ideas to help you discover the perfect name.

In researching and writing this piece, I broke down the process of identifying names into small steps. I have also noticed that many, if not all, articles and reports that I have read over the years follow the same pattern. Do this, don’t that, start here and end there.

Let me tell you that it is not that simple. The process of naming does not follow a linear path.

It is impossible to achieve naming perfection by following a chronological sequence of events.

You are NOT required to adhere to any specific naming rules.

There are some guidelines and ideas to consider, but there is always an exception. Many names have been successfully branded and are wildly popular, but by all standards, they’re wrong.

It is also a process that has its peculiarities. You may set out to rename a product and find the perfect name right in front of your face, waiting for you to grab it. You may spend days agonizing about the details of your new product and submitting hundreds or thousands of options to your registrar, but nothing sounds “just right.”

Due to the inconsistent and exciting naming nature, I have decided to break this article into “considerations.” Instead of giving you an action plan that will undoubtedly change or a list of naming rules not set in stone, I have outlined several ideas, methods, and strategies you can consider.

You’ll see the basic concepts at the start and then the meatier stuff. Let’s start with the quick ones.


It should be easy to say and spell.

Make it memorable.

Avoid pigeonholing yourself. (For example, naming your business or product too specifically [standards: Dave’s Flash Drives Inc. and Portland Flooring Inc.] may hinder future growth).

Take your time with the numbers.

Avoid names that may have a negative connotation when translated into other languages. (Baka Software Inc. might sound good in the US but not in Japan).

Avoid negative connotations.

Be careful that your name does not alienate any particular group (race or religion).

Look for trademarks that already exist on the names you are considering.

Check if the domain can be purchased or registered in the aftermarket. Use your preferred registrar or a bulk domain checking tool (I have outlined one below).

Take into consideration: Domain accessibility

The availability of domains is the greatest obstacle to name creation. You can think of great names, but are they available domains?

This is a simple thing so that I won’t waste much time. You can start by trying a few names. If the name you want to use is for a business or product that requires domain, you will soon know which terms will most likely be available. Below, I have listed some tools that can be very helpful.

Take a look at this: Focused brainstorming.

Brainstorming is a practice that’s recommended in every book. Instead of sitting down and trying to think of ANY words to describe your business, you should focus your brainstorming on answering a series of questions.

Make a long list of words and phrases to answer each question. The longer and more abstract your list is, the better. Go wild…

What is the purpose of your product?

What is the purpose of your industry?

What are the benefits of your product to consumers?

What will become of them?

What will they receive?

What ingredients are in your product or service, and what do they consist of?

What makes you different from your competitors?

What makes you unique?

What is the language of your industry? What are your unique expressions and terms?

You can add your list to this one.

Search for synonyms

It’s pretty simple. Take every one of the words you brainstormed above and plug them into a thesaurus, like ( You can review the entries and keep the words you like while deleting the ones you do not. Add these to a new list. Pay attention to possible names.

Take a look at this: Combining words + an excellent tool to combine names

Try word combining after you have done a focused brainstorming session and a search for synonyms. Pop ALL your terms into a phrase combiner like My Tool (, tweak its settings to reflect what you want it to show, and combine.

You may receive an extensive list depending on the number of words you enter. You can quickly weed them out by clicking the button at the bottom.

Here’s a list of words and names to get you going

Many great company, product, and website names are derived from other names that are irrelevant. Google “list of,” and you will find more than enough results.

Geologic Periods

Fruit or food names

Dinosaurs types

Rocks and their types

Latin or Greek roots

Place names

Historical figures

Zoological names

Botanical names

Mathematical or engineering terms

Astronomical terms

Names of animals, fishes, and bugs

Also, think about it abstractly. What foods or plants are fresh if your product is unique and new? The list goes on.

Play on words and play with words

Recently, I tried a beer purely because of its title. The beer was called Tricerahops, a double IPA from Ninkasi Brewery. It’s a good beer. Check out how to create a name such as that.

Browse your synonym lists and brainstorm for words that define/describe your product. In the beer example above, hops are one of the primary ingredients. We can then look at lists of foods, animals, and places to see if any combinations work well. In this instance, they changed just one letter in the dinosaur’s name, “Triceratops.” Here’s an even easier way…

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